Search For Stickers In The Facebook Messenger App

sticker_pack
Facebook Messenger doesn't just try and capitalize on Facebook being a popular chat platform, it also tries to set itself apart from other services in the instant messaging niche. The stickers for one are really nice and the sticker library itself is pretty huge. It's almost like having a nice GIF keyboard. Given the rather large library and the fact that the galleries aren't exactly based on a single theme, or emotion, it's hard to find the right one when you need to. Here's how you can make it easier to quickly locate the right sticker during a conversation. Read More

Take Photos And Backup Them To Three Different Services Automatically

Do Camera email
IFTTT is an exceptionally ingenious service that lets you connect web services with each other. It's a simple concept that lets you create recipes for connecting services using their open APIs without you needing to know how to work with an API. The service has mobile apps for both iOS and Android but it's just launched a new app that targets something we use our phones for quite often; photography. The new app is called Do Camera and for each photo you take, you can have the app back-up the photos or upload them to any three services of your choice. The question here might be which services does it support and the short answer is; lots. Just about any service that has an open API can be used to create custom recipes. Read More

What Can I Do About The App Could Not Be Downloaded Error (495) [Android]

error-495
Android is a great smartphone platform; it's rugged and built to be pushed to the limits. It's also prone to the oddest errors. Even if you've got a completely basic device that hasn't been rooted or customized in any way, you will still experience some of these problems. A common error many users might experience is the Cannot Connect To Camera error. Another slightly less common but exceptionally frustrating problem is Error (495) which prevents you from downloading apps from the Google Play Store. The error might have a simple fix, or it might be something far more complicated but here are two things you can try to resolve it. Read More

Add Lost & Found Information To Your Phone’s Lock Screen [Android]

hi_locker_lock_screen
Losing your phone isn't fun. We take a lot of precautions when it comes to making sure our device isn't stolen. We set up passwords and enable back-doors that will help us trace where our phone is, and if comes down to it we engage the all ending kill-switch. That's all meant to deal with situations where the person in possession of our phone isn't going to try and return it to us any time soon. But what if you've forgotten your phone some place and a kind human being has found it. Locked out by your very strict security measures, it's going to be hard for anyone to trace who a phone belongs to. iOS users, or rather people who find a lost iOS device can simply ask Siri who a phone belongs to to find the owner but Android doesn't have something similar. Hi Locker is a free Android app that is essentially a really beautiful launcher with one feature that sets it apart; it lets you add a custom status to your lock screen. Read More

Stop Shortcuts Being Added To Your Home Screen When You Install An App

play_store_app
On Android, the app drawer is where all apps go and the home screen is reserved for your frequently used apps. There's no limit to how many pages you can have on your home screen or even how many app shortcuts you can add to it. If you wanted you could have every single app appear on your home screen. Likewise, if you wanted you could have only your favorite apps on the home screen and keep the number of pages limited and your device well organized. Whenever you install a new app, Google Play store automatically adds a shortcut for the app to your home screen. You can remove it later if you don't want it there but if you rarely add new apps to your home screen, it's probably more convenient to not have them all added automatically after an install. Here's how you can disable shortcuts being added automatically. Read More

68 Best Android Apps Of The Year 2014

android-apps-2014
This is easily one of the longest lists in our annual app round-up for 2014. We definitely saw a lot of great apps this past year but in review one thing that stands out is that 2014 was a year when lots of big names in both iOS and desktop apps came to the Android platform. It's a mark of just how popular the platform is and how very resilient it's growth has been. There are some great new apps and widgets in the list.  If Android Lollipop hasn't rolled out for your device just yet, you might find an app that brings some features from the OS to your device without the upgrade. Enjoy! Read More

How To Use WhatsApp From The Desktop

WhatsApp_QR_code
In May 2013, Viber released desktop clients for both Windows and Mac along side a feature called ViberOut which allows users to hand off a call from their mobile devices to their desktops. A good year later, WhatsApp has rolled out something to that same effect. WhatApp conversations can now be held from your desktop. Their solution isn't as flexible as what Viber had to offer. To begin with, there is no desktop app; the conversations are to be held over a web interface (linked at the end) and for now, only the Chrome browser is supported. Like with Viber, your connection is still tied to your phone and the phone number registered with the app. You will have to upgrade your current WhatsApp app and unfortunately, iOS will not get this new feature (yet?). The present offering is available for Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, and Nokia S60. Read More

Enable And Disable ‘Seen’ Report In Google Hangouts

hangouts_seen
I'm not entirely sure when this happened but jumping on to the bandwagon that prevents us from ignoring the people who IM us, Google has added the dreaded 'Seen' status report to Google Hangouts. When you read a message from a contact, they will know you've read it. The Chrome app, extension, Gmail Hangouts interface, and the Android app have been effected received the update. To be fair, you get proper warning of the new feature being enabled and unlike Whatsapp, Google Hangouts lets you disable it. Here's how to do that in your browser, and on your Android device. Read More

58 Top Tips & Tutorials Of The Year 2014

tips_tutorials-2014
This past Monday we gave you a list of the best Windows apps reviewed in 2014. To start the weekend off, and maybe give you something you might want to try over the weekend, here are the best tips and tutorials covered in 2014. Ranging from simple little tricks for your smartphone, to far more complicated tutorials or running Windows on a Mac, this list features how-tos for the Android, iOS, Windows, and the OS X platform. Read More

How To Use Your Android Phone More Comfortably If You’re Left-Handed

android_dev_options
Being left-handed is a stigma in some societies. Often social construct, religious beliefs, or even out-dated scientific research will tell you that it's not good to be left-handed. Everyday items of use like ringed notebooks and scissors are built to be used by the 90% of the population who are right-handed. You would think that as more and more advances were made in technology, things would get easier for those with different needs but even smartphones are meant to be used by the vast majority of right-handed people with little regard to those who are left-handed and would enjoy texting with one hand just like the rest of us. For Android users, there is actually hope because a built-in developer function allows users to enable a Right-to-left mode which will flip everything such as which side of the screen switches and buttons appear, as well as which way your home screen pages and notifications are swiped. Read More

Use Exposure And Color Point Control To Create Unique Filters [Android]

Shift
Filter apps for photos are common. Some might offer a few unique filters but it's safe to say that the market is well saturated. The only point where most apps can compete on is the quality and intensity of the filters that are applied and what kind of customization is available. Instagram competes well enough there. A few updates ago, the app added the ability to control how intensely a filter was applied. Shift is another addition to this niche and it takes a pretty unique approach to filters; it lets you pick colors and exposure levels and then choose between random filters to apply to a photo. The color you choose is highlighted or muted in the filter and you can manage the level of exposure to create something unique. Different points on the image itself are chosen as reference when the color selection is made so that you always come up with a unique filter. Filters you like can be saved as presets and applied to any other image. Read More

Are Heart Rate Monitoring Apps Really Accurate? We Put Them To The Test

apps_bpm
Health has become the focus of many new gadgets with personal fitness bands growing increasingly popular. Health apps have become a stock feature in both Android and iOS and long before that happened, developers had been working to put the these devices to better use. There have long existed apps that claim to measure your heart rate using nothing more than the front and/or rear camera on your phone. People obviously have their doubts about apps like this because measuring medical information can't be that simple. I've personally tried to 'fool' these apps and those that claim to measure heartbeat by scanning one's face are quite easy to fool with nothing more than a picture placed in front of it. We did however decide to give these apps a chance; see if they really can measure a person's heart rate and how accurate the reading is. Read More

Tunity Is A Shazam-Like App That Sends TV Channel Audio To Your Device

Tunity_scan
Shazam is a very popular service that helps identify songs. All you need to do is let the service listen to a small snippet of what's playing on the radio or on TV, or maybe blaring out from someone's headphones, and it can correctly identify the song. Tunity is an app for iOS and Android that does something much like that but for TV channel audio. Think of any scenario where you're sitting staring at a muted TV. The news might be on, a re-run of your favorite movie or series, or maybe just a really interesting documentary. Unfortunately, given the place you are, the audio is muted. That's where Tunity comes in; it lets you scan the TV screen, and streams the audio from that channel directly to your Android device or iPhone. Read More

Modify The Google Now Gesture To Launch Apps Or Perform Other Actions

Now Gesture Tweaks action
Mobile operating systems will often reserve a certain functionality for a stock feature. An example of this is how iOS allows only the camera to be accessible from the lock screen, and how Android Lollipop similarly  only allows access to the camera and dialer app. With the camera, no one grudges the OS owning how it is accessed. Both operating systems go much further reserving swipe up and swipe down functions on all screens but with Android you can change it very easily. Now Gesture Tweaks is an Android app that lets you change the default swipe up function reserved by the default Google Now launcher. The app has a free version and a premium version. The free version is limited to only letting you select which app is launched, open all apps, or open the notification center when you swipe up from the bottom of the screen. The premium version lets you do much more. The app doesn't require a rooted device but if your device is rooted, you will get extra functions that you can assign to the swipe up gesture. Read More

How To Rearrange The Order Filters Appear In Instagram

instagram_filters
Instagram has just received a fresh update and it's a big one. The update has introduced five new filters and a filter management feature. No doubt the new filters are exciting news and you'll want to try them on your next coffee or dessert but the filter management feature is deserving of equal attention. It lets you do two things; hide filters that you don't like or don't use at all, in my case that would be the Inkwell filter. It also lets you rearrange the order the filters appear in when you scroll through them in the app's interface. You can bring your favorite or most frequently used filters to the start of the line-up and move less frequently used ones to the end. Here's how. Read More

Set The Default Launcher, SMS App, And Browser In Android Lollipop

set_default_app
Android Lollipop brought some big new features to the Android platform and we've covered the exceptionally noteworthy ones such as pinning screens and user/guest accounts. But this latest version of Android isn't all about big features, there are smaller more obscure ones that deserve just as much attention. Android Lollipop has made it ridiculously to set default apps. You can choose the default launcher, set the default SMS app, and even set or reset the default browser on your Android device. The options aren't exactly well placed and easy to find but they're all there in the Settings app and are simple to use. Read More

Bring Back The Old Tab Switcher In Chrome For Android

chrome_tab_switching
Chrome's Material design version does something a little unorthodox with the tab switcher; it combines the tab switcher with the app switcher. To switch to a different tab, you have to tap the app switcher button and it brings up, in addition to the other apps that you have open, all open Chrome tabs. You cycle through them much like you would cycle through your open apps and tap the tab you want to switch to. There isn't anything wrong with this approach if you can get into the habit of using it but I kept looking for the old tab switcher. Fortunately, there is a super simple way built into Chrome to get the old tab switcher back. Read More

Send A Message To Let Someone Know Why You’re Calling

Calltag tags
The Do Not Disturb mode, or Interruptions if you're using Android, is a feature that prevents notifications from disturbing you on your device. You can ensure that only calls from important people come through or only your most essential apps can send you alerts while your phone is resting on your night stand, or on your desk at work. I've personally found Do Not Disturb or Interruptions to work great but to only be suitable for use at night. I don't really favour it at work for one simple reason; working hours is when a lot of important activity happens and blocking calls isn't the best way to avoid interruptions. I just keep my phone on silent and prefer people text me before calling. Lots of people don't have time for their devices when they're working so taking calls isn't easy. Calltag is a great way around this; it's an app available for both Android and iOS that lets you quickly compose a message with your name and where you're calling from, and add tags that describe what your conversation is about. The message is sent to whoever you intend to call to give them a heads-up on why you're calling. Once the message is sent, the app initiates a count down before the call is made. Your recipient will know why you're calling and they can choose to take the call, or ignore it. Read More

New Features In Firefox 34 For Desktop And Android

ff34-banner
Firefox 34 is now available. If the update hasn't already downloaded, go ahead and check for it now. Firefox 34 is leaning more on the end-user side in terms of new features. The Android version isn't big on either developer or end-user features with Chromecast mirroring being the only significant one. The most interesting feature in Fiefox 34 is easily Firefox Hello, a new way to exchange private messages, both audio and video though the feature is still in its Beta phase. Other significant features are the new theme switcher and a way to fix the 'Fire. fox is already running' problem that users encounter at times. Read More

Material Design Color Palettes Suggests Colors For Your App [Android]

colors
Material Design has been a highlight of Android Lollipop and rightly so. It's Android maturing in terms of design. The design itself is pretty good, enough to encourage developers to adopt it more and more. Maybe one day we will wait for apps to upgrade to the new design like we  do today with iOS apps. For anyone looking for inspiration on how to do Material Design well, there is the myriad of stock apps by Google to act as an example. Implementation-wise we have quite a few examples but if you're a designer struggling with the right colors for material design, give Material Design Color Palettes a try. It's a very simple free Android app that lists shades for nineteen different colors that are a good fit for Material design. The colors range from bright reds and pinks to mute browns and greys. Read More